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Illinois Wesleyan University

Feb. 24, 2020

News for and about the Illinois Wesleyan community

Campus News

Prez JackMcKermitt '20 Trades Places with the President
On President's Day, biology major Jack McKermitt '20 served as president of Illinois Wesleyan for a day while President S. Georgia Nugent participated in McKermitt's usual classes and extracurricular activities. Listen to a student-hosted podcast interview about the exchange on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

WorkshopStudents Present Original Research at Human Rights Workshop
Students shared the facts on several human rights issues at the eighth annual Human Rights Undergraduate Research Workshop hosted by Illinois Wesleyan, based on this year's theme "Facts and Fictions: Human Rights and the Search for Truth(s)."

GARIStudents Develop Recycling Robot at MakeHarvard
A trash recycling robot named GARI (for "Green Autonomous Recycling Initiative") was developed by a team of Illinois Wesleyan students during MakeHarvard, a 24-hour engineering make-a-thon hosted by Harvard University.

More News
Titan Athletics
  • The women's basketball team clinched the No. 2 seed and first-round bye in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Tournament with a win over Carthage College on Feb. 22 inside Tarble Arena.
  • The men's basketball team also defeated Carthage to clinch the No. 3 seed in the CCIW Tournament. The Titan will host Carthage on Tuesday, Feb. 25, in a CCIW quarterfinals matchup.
More Highlights
Titans In The News
The Pantagraph

President S. Georgia Nugent switched places with IWU student Jack McKermitt '20 as part of "President for a Day."  See more photo coverage.


Vogue India

Research conducted by IWU Associate Professor of Psychology Amanda Vicary was cited to explain women's interest in true crime.


Guitarist Mike Kennerty was interviewed in advance of the All-American Rejects headlining IWU's "Big Show" on Feb. 22 at the Shirk Center.

The Pantagraph

Heartland Bank and Trust Company announced the promotion of Chad Beaty '99 to senior vice president, commercial lending, and senior lender for the Bloomington area.

The (Santa Rosa, Calif.) North Bay Business Journal

St. Joseph Health-Northern California Regional Chief Executive Kevin Klockenga '89 was highlighted as a "health care leader you should know."

The Pantagraph

Titan athletics were well represented at the Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge, benefiting Special Olympics, on Feb. 22 at Miller Park.

Waste Advantage Magazine

Illinois Wesleyan students developed a trash-recycling robot named GARI ("Green Autonomous Recycling Initiative") at a 24-hour engineering make-a-thon hosted by Harvard University.

The (Kankakee) Daily Journal

Illinois Wesleyan's Collegiate Choir will present a freewill concert in Kankakee on March 3, prior to its spring concert tour in South Africa.

The Pantagraph

Illinois Wesleyan, with its expanding Esports program, is a pioneer among local schools in the fast-growing sport.

More Titans in the News

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Monday, Feb. 24

11 a.m.-1 p.m., First Floor Hallway, State Farm Hall – BOOST Week: BOOST Your Confidence – Come out and BOOST your self-confidence through different activities, and receive some fun giveaways! Counseling and Consultation Services and Interfraternity Council are sponsoring a week of self-care, mental health awareness, and self-esteem boosting activities. We hope you find time for yourself to stop by, so you can remind yourself what excites you about life while identifying your "wins."



Tuesday, Feb. 25

11 a.m.-1 p.m., SAGA Stairs/Commons Entry, Memorial Center – BOOST Week: BOOST Your Mental Health – Come by this tabling event to learn more about mental health self-care activities. Remember it is important to stop and breathe. Sponsored by Counseling and Consultation Services and Interfraternity Council.

12:15 p.m., Hart Career Center – Titan Career Chat: Careers in Marketing – Jessica Schaeffer '11, Senior Director, LaSalle Network, will dine with students and discuss careers in marketing and opportunities with LaSalle Network. Schaeffer is very dynamic and has held multiple leadership positions in marketing. Lunch provided. Register here. Sponsored by the Hart Career Center.

4-6 p.m., 1007 E. Jefferson St., Bloomington – Airbnb Open House – Marc Talluto '94 and IWU student interns invite faculty and staff to visit the recently opened student-run Airbnb. Talluto is our Entrepreneur-in-Residence and created this internship opportunity for IWU students to gain real-world startup experience. He and IWU student interns for the Airbnb will be walking around to talk more about this historical home and their experience getting it up and running as an Airbnb. Drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be served, compliments of the Airbnb.

6:30 p.m., Hansen Student Center – Mental Health Awareness - Suicide Prevention on Campus Keynote – Guest speaker Melissa Monitor is the Director of Embrace Mental Health, a chapter of Elyssa's Mission. She has experience working with adolescents in individual group counseling and teaching suicide prevention to college students. Monitor attended Indiana University and has a master's degree in Social Work from Loyola University Chicago. She will be speaking on suicide prevention, while providing clarification on what is fact or fiction around suicide so that we can all work together to prevent suicide. Sponsored by Counseling and Consultation Services and Interfraternity Council.


7 p.m., Shirk Center – Men's Basketball CCIW Quarterfinals vs. Carthage – Live streaming video at



Wednesday, Feb. 26

10 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3:30 p.m., Hart Career Center – Walk-In Wednesdays – Bring your resume or cover letter and have Hart Career Center staff review it. Have a quick question about Handshake? Need help preparing for an upcoming interview? We're here to help.


11 a.m., Evelyn Chapel – Ash Wednesday Service – All are welcome for Evelyn Chapel's annual Ecumenical Ash Wednesday service, led by Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger, student leaders and musicians. Sponsored by the Office of Multifaith Engagement.

11 a.m.-1 p.m., Atrium, CNS – BOOST Week: BOOST Your Self-Esteem – Stop by this tabling event to work on boosting your self-esteem through gratitude and expressing self-love. Sponsored by Counseling and Consultation Services and Interfraternity Council.

4 p.m., Basement, Evelyn Chapel – ReligiosiTEA: IWU's Weekly Interfaith Dialogue – ReligiosiTEA is a weekly gathering that celebrates religious and worldview diversity, builds up interfaith literacy, engages important topics ranging from faith practices to politics, and fosters interfaith dialogue and community on our campus. All are welcome for tea, coffee, treats and great discussion.

7 p.m., Tucci Stadium – Men's Lacrosse vs. Aurora – Live streaming video at



Thursday, Feb. 27

12:15 p.m., Room 002, State Farm Hall – Titan Career Chat: Careers in Entrepreneurship – Heather Acerra, owner and co-creator of Lux Blox, an award-winning educational tool which teaches about nature's design principles through play, will share her story in entrepreneurship. Most recently the Grand Prize winner of the FedEx Small Business Challenge Grant, Lux Blox has been called "Next-Level Legos" by New York Magazine and a toy "inspiring engineering thinking" by Purdue University. Lux Blox is manufactured right in our backyard in Bloomington. Acerra will cover the gamut of lessons learned in launching a product in the U.S., as well as her experiences as she explores exporting her product.
Lunch provided. Register here. Sponsored by the Hart Career Center.

4:30 p.m., Young Main Lounge, Memorial Center – Black History Showcase of Inventors – This informative showcase will highlight African-American inventors and the key inventions they have created that helped make modern America. Free and open to the public. This showcase is intended to convey that obstacles are meant to be overcome, and you should never give up on your ambitions. There will be a Snapchat Filter for this event, which you can use if you would like to post stories while you are at the showcase. Sponsored by Phi Gamma Delta and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.



Friday, Feb. 28

11 a.m., Indoor Track, Shirk Center – Track and Field - CCIW Championships (Day 1)

Live streaming video at

11 a.m., Welcome Center Auditorium – FYFF: "Job Search" – Part of the Hart Career Center's "For Your Future Friday" series. Whether you are a senior focused on your job search this year or preparing in advance, learning about the job search process can help you avoid stress later. Discover the many ways that the Hart Career Center can help you in your job search.

12 p.m., IDEA Center, Memorial Center – Get Started – This pitch competition and networking event includes free lunch and a chance to win a pair of Apple Airpods. All IWU students are encouraged to participate in Get Started. Students can apply for seed grants of up to $500 to achieve their startup's next milestone. Whether you need to obtain business permits, have your logo designed, or purchase prototyping materials – getting started just got easier. Don't have an idea? Attend for free and vote for your favorite pitch! See for more info and to apply to pitch, or sign up to attend online. Sponsored by the IDEA Center.

12:15 p.m., Hart Career Center – Titan Career Chat: Careers in Human Resources – Jaynanne Calaway-Habeck '99, President of Calaway-Habeck and former VP of People Ops for Panera, will share her career path in human resources, career opportunities in the industry, and answer questions about the field. Calaway-Habeck led Panera Bread's human resources organization that supported Panera's 2,000+ bakery cafes, 22 fresh dough facilities and 3 support centers. Bring your lunch. Sponsored by the Hart Career Center.

3 p.m., Tucci Stadium – Women's Lacrosse vs. Capital – Live streaming video at

7 p.m., Joslin Atrium, Memorial Center – AGD Casino Night  – Students are invited to come play casino-style games and participate in a raffle for prizes. Sponsored by AGD and local businesses.



Saturday, Feb. 29

10:15 a.m., Evergreen Racquet Club, 3203 E. Washington St., Bloomington – Men's Tennis vs. Illinois College

10:45 a.m., Indoor Track, Shirk Center – Track and Field - CCIW Championships (Day 2) – Live streaming video at

12 p.m., Tucci Stadium – Men's Lacrosse vs. Alma – Live streaming video at

3 p.m., Tucci Stadium – Illinois Wesleyan University Women's Lacrosse vs Hope – Live streaming video at

4:30 p.m., Evergreen Racquet Club, 3203 E. Washington St., Bloomington – Men's Tennis vs. Greenville

7 p.m., Hansen Student Center – Unity Gala

7:30 p.m., Westbrook Auditorium, Presser Hall – Student Composition Concert


7:30 p.m., Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 203 S. Kensington Ave., La Grange, Illinois – Collegiate Choir Spring TourAfter pre-tour concerts in La Grange and Kankakee and a week-long concert tour in South Africa, the Choir will perform a home concert in Bloomington on Friday, March 20.


Sunday, March 1

3 p.m., Westbrook Auditorium, Presser Hall – Tuba and Euphonium Ensembles Recital – Sponsored by the School Of Music.

6 p.m., Vinyard Room, Memorial Center – Student Senate General Assembly Meeting

More Events
  • Irv Epstein, Ben and Susan Rhodes Professor of Peace and Social Justice, was interviewed on the podcast FreshEd With Will Brehm, with regard to his book: Affect Theory and Comparative Education Discourse. FreshEd with Will Brehm is a weekly podcast that takes ideas in educational research, which may initially seem impenetrable, and seeks to make them more accessible, unraveling their complexity through conversations with expert academics in the field. The show began in October 2015 out of the confluence of two ideas: to make research on globalization and education less esoteric by encouraging academics to talk about concepts in their work in a conversational atmosphere using everyday language; and to expand the reach of educational research and ideas to a larger audience, beyond the confines of academic journals and conferences. The show has been widely received, reaching an audience around the world. It has also been incorporated into many university syllabi. The interview can be accessed here.

  • Aaron R. Gierhart '09 defended his dissertation focused on digital pedagogy of elementary teachers and earned his Ed.D. at Illinois State University this month. He has accepted a job as an Assistant Professor of Elementary Education at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, beginning in August 2020.

Contests Announced for IWU Student Poets and Writers


Illinois Wesleyan University students are invited to enter annual competitions for the Academy of American Poets University & College Prize, the Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Prize for Short Fiction, and the Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Essay Prize. The prizes, administered by the English department, are open to all currently enrolled students, including non-English majors and minors.


Academy of American Poets University & College Poetry Prize


Founded in 1955, the Academy of American Poets University & College Poetry Prize program has launched the careers of many promising poets, including Sylvia Plath, Tess Gallagher, Mark Strand, and Joy Harjo. The winner from Illinois Wesleyan University receives $100 and a certificate, and is announced in the Academy of American Poets' publications and news releases, with a chance for publication in a future anthology. The final judge for this prize is David Ebenbach, author of the poetry collections Some Unimaginable Animal and We Were the People Who Moved.


To enter the Academy of American Poets University & College Poetry Prize, students should submit 4-6 poems, single spaced, with the total length not to exceed 12 pages.


Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Prize for Short Fiction


The Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Prize for Short Fiction (formerly the Clockwatch Review Prize for Short Fiction and the Babbitt's Prize for Short Fiction) began in 1997 as a way to promote and encourage aspiring fiction writers at IWU. The winner receives $100. The final judge for this prize is Woody Skinner, author of the story collection A Thousand Distant Radios.


To enter the IWU Department of English Prize for Short Fiction, students should submit up to 18 double-spaced pages of fiction—either a single short story or a segment from a novel that can stand alone. Any style is acceptable, but judges will be looking for literary quality, energy, innovation, interesting plots, memorable characters, dialogue that rings true, fresh language, and a sure voice.


Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Essay Prize


The Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Essay Prize (formerly the Kay Nelson Memorial Essay Prize) has been established to promote and encourage practitioners of the art of the personal essay. The winner receives $100. The final judge for this prize will be Kelcey Parker Ervick, author of The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová, a biographical collage.


To enter the Illinois Wesleyan University Department of English Essay Prize, students should submit one essay, double spaced, of no more than 5,000 words. Shorter essays, traditional forms, and more experimental forms are welcome.


Students may submit only one entry to each competition (but may submit to multiple competitions). Members of the English department faculty will serve as preliminary judges, with finalist manuscripts for each competition passed on to the final judge.


All entries should be submitted via a single email attachment (e.g., all poems should be in one document) to by 4 p.m. on Monday, March 2.


For additional information, contact Professor Brandi Reissenweber at or (309) 556-3241.



IWU Entrepreneurship Fellowship – Spring Semester Application Deadline is Today


If you have a strong business idea, are a passionate innovator, entrepreneurially minded and interested in developing your business idea, then submit your proposal for the IWU Entrepreneurial Fellowship for a chance to receive a $5,000 grant. 


The IWU Entrepreneurial Fellowship will provide a student (or group of students) the opportunity to pursue their entrepreneurial passion under the supervision of a faculty member and guidance of a successful entrepreneur. Spring semester deadline is Monday, Feb. 24. Application available here. Submit to Holmes Hall Room 211 or



IWU Phonathon


The Titan Talkers have begun calling for the semester. These students will be calling our alumni, parents and friends of the University. Their last day of calling will be on April 9, which is All In For Wesleyan.

Welcome New Employees

Jeremy Yeary started Feb. 3 as a Campus Safety Officer, replacing John Dolan.


Robert Repta started Feb. 4 as Web Developer in Communications, replacing Michael Gorman '10.


Rachel Rizvi started Feb. 10 as a Campus Safety Officer, replacing Kevin Long.


Alya Abbed started Feb. 25 as a part-time Staff Counselor in Counseling & Consultation Services, replacing Trina McCarty.

In Sympathy
Sharon Albee, who served Illinois Wesleyan international students and registrar's offices for 18 years until her retirement in 2017, passed away on Feb. 2. A celebration of life will be planned at a later date. Her obituary is online.
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Campus Weekly is an electronic newsletter from Illinois Wesleyan's Office of Communications, edited by Ann Aubry, director of communications. To submit items of interest, email See an archive of past editions.
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